After outing myself as an aspiring writer this morning (and, speaking of writers, a big shout out and congrats to Jay of the Disco Mermaids on his book deal!), I must make another announcement about my life outside of this blog, but I swear it is relevant to this review and contest: I am not a Christian.
Why is this relevant to children's literature? Well, a few months ago, I received a set of books, by R.K. Mortenson, billed as a Christian alternative to Harry Potter. I don't necessarily see a need for an Christian alternative to Harry Potter, a series I find highly moral in its own right, but I suppose that doesn't mean others might. And, R.K. Mortenson's representative, a very pleasant and intelligent person, convinced me to give the books a read despite my biases.
And, I have to admit, I found the first book in the series, Landon Snow and the Auctor's Riddle, a lot of fun and worth the read. Here's why:
- Books play an important role in the tale. The hero, Landon Snow, is a reader and a writer and stories, books, and legends are central to his story.
- Landon is a compelling character. He's intelligent and inquisitive, eager to "figure things out."
- Mortenson is an excellent writer and particularly skilled at describing places and settings in the novel. The Button Up Library, center of much of the first novel's action, is a place of wonder and beauty.
- Kids who love Narnia and Alice in Wonderland will enjoy finding influences and play on these works in the text.
- The Landon Snow novels are beautifully produced (in the style of the Spiderwick Chronicles) and the type is in a gorgeous, eye-friendly brown.
So, what's the giveaway? First person to send me an e-mail will receive Landon Snow and the Auctor's Riddle, Landon Snow and the Shadows of Malus Quidam (Landon Snow, Book 2), and an ARC of the third volume.